From Publishers Weekly
This debut novel from popular literary blogger Sarvas focuses on the midlife crisis of recently widowed Harry Rent. Harry maintained a complicated and uneasy relationship with his wife, Anna, who died during a cosmetic surgery procedure. On the day of her funeral, Harry meets Molly, a raven-haired diner waitress and grad student, and is smitten. To win Molly's heart, Harry devises a bizarre plan to transform himself from the sleazy, lying john that he'd become into an honorable and noble gentleman straight from the pages of a Dumas novel, through a series of far from selfless acts aimed toward Molly's old, crotchety co-worker, Lucille. Harry stalks Lucille to ascertain her financial needs and tries to rectify her pitiful situation—all just to get a night of passion with Molly, who already has one deadbeat in her life. Harry is also being followed by the private investigator hired by his sister-in-law, Claire, who holds Harry responsible for sending the beautiful Anna to her early death, but he is too wrapped up in his own game to notice. The novel hinges on Harry's transformation, and though there may be legions of writers spurned by his blog just willing for Sarvas to fail, this is a self-assured, comic and satisfying story. (May)
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"* 'Mark Sarvas's first novel is funny and sad, rueful, wised-up, and curiously moving. A remarkable debut.' - John Banville, author of Booker Prize winner, The Sea * 'Fun, fast, and heartfelt, an exemplar of the coming-of-middle-age novel in which an overgrown boy finally learns to grow up and deal with the world with greater compassion and maturity - even if that's no guarantee he won't stop running into things.' - Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End * 'As witty, erudite, and outrageous as Waugh, with a flawed hero worthy of Roth. A marvelous, enviable debut.' - Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli"
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